Costco Does Canvas Gallery Wraps Too?!


I got my first Canvas Gallery Wraps done back in 2009 (see my post here) from MPIX. The quality was great and I LOVE seeing my landscape shots on canvas. The only problem was the cost. They are not cheap, but they are GREAT! About a year later I got an email from (yes the t-shirt people) that they also do Canvas Gallery Wraps and that they were having a 50% off sale to get the word out. I jumped on this as opportunity to get some more done and to go larger in size. Once again I was happy with the results. A few months later they had a 60% sale and yes I ordered more and bigger ones! At home I was set. I pretty much had all the Canvas up in my house that I wanted. I also saved a bundle with CafePress.

I recently moved into a New Photographic/Video Studio and there are many many many walls to fill :). I was waiting and waiting for CafePress to have another sale. In the meantime I was getting all my regular prints done at my local Costco. Their prices can't be beat and I developed a Lightroom workflow that achieved the best results for color/quality. About a week ago I was sitting there getting some more shots ready to upload to Costco and I was once again reminded that I need to get some Canvas done, but after paying 50% off and 60% off regular prices I couldn't bring myself to order at regular prices.I was thinking, boy it sure would be great if Costco did…..wait a minute….do they?… no way…. I can't look….OMG YES! They do Canvas too!


Great Everyday Prices on Canvas

I was very pleasantly surprised to see that Costco does Canvas Gallery Wraps too! I couldn't wait to upload some landscape photos and give them a try. Their prices were on par with CafePress' sale prices and that made me very happy. It meant that I could go larger and order more prints for my studio. Costco doesn't print these in their local stores. You can have them shipped from their processing center either to your local store or directly to your home/office. I had them shipped to my store. They arrived about 5-6 days later (quoted times are 5-10 days) and I couldn't tell the difference between theirs and the more expensive ones I'd had done! Score! Yay!

I went with the 24×32 size. Next I'll try the 16×48 for panos!


What about color matching?

Here's where I have to confess that I've never been big on color management workflows. Don't get me wrong, I think it's very important to have your print match what you saw on screen or in your mind. It's just that it has never been the most critical thing to me personally. As long as the print is "very close" to what I think it should be, I'm good. With that said, I was sharing this story with another photographer friend of mine and he was telling me how he's had hit and miss results with Costco prints. He said that one of his jobs was a disaster because it was for a corporate client and their blue had to be "their blue." In that case I would absolutely work with a lab that's going to make me/my client happy and look good no matter what it costs. Costco does give you the ability to download color profiles. The odd thing is that in the past I've actually had more problems using them than not using them. In a couple of cases using the profile for my local store resulted in prints that were not just a little off, but WAY OFF. It looked as if someone hit Invert in Photoshop on the colors. All the prints that are currently on my studio wall were done at Costco simply using the Adobe RGB color space and they look fine to me. Same goes for the Canvas. Every now and then I'll get a print that's a little darker than I think it should be, but I get that from time to time no matter where I print.

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25 Replies to “Costco Does Canvas Gallery Wraps Too?!”

  1. I’ve worked directly with the company Costco uses to outsource the printing of photos on canvas. Besides color matching issues, I’d be concerned with how the piece holds up over time. In southern California they don’t have the best reputation. But the prices are cheap — so perhaps you get what you pay for.

    1. I’d agree. I recently purcahsed a picture on canvas from Costco (one of their bigger sizes a 20×30)and when it arrived the color was slightly off (not horrible thought), but the ink was already rubbing off of the canvas on the sides and corners and I hadn’t taken it out of it’s package. I can’t find a number to call about this issue, which is typical with a big company like Costco and really for the price I can’t say I expected great quality. The frame was also bowed pretty badly.
      As a professional photographer I can say that I’m willing to pay more for a high quality print because I’ll be reselling them and trying to resell something my customers can get at Costco any day doesn’t really work.

  2. Would you care to share your LR workflow for Costco prints? In the past I have had generally good results but not 100% consistent.

    1. I created the various sizes I wanted as LR Print Templates. i then use the Print to JPEG command using 150PPI (higher results in a file that’s too big to upload at the large sizes), Print Sharpening: Standard, Media Type: Matte, JPEG Quality 100, Profile: Adobe RGB, Rendering Intent: Perceptual.

      1. Hi Terry. Thanks for sharing this info! I have been wanting to do this. And I am surprised as the cost is not as expensive as I thought it would be.

        You mentioned your LR workflow. I don’t use LR, just Br w/ PS. Can you suggest what I should do, if anything, with my photos prior to uploading to Costco’s photo center for canvas wrap?

        I am excited! But want to make sure these come out great!

        Thanks again for sharing! This made my day! 🙂

  3. Sams club does a pretty good job as well. I have been using them for a few years now for prints. They don’t do canvas but they do up to 20X30s in store. The other thing that I like about them is that I can take a disk in with me that has files too large to upload and they can load them manually into the system. So far I have only had a couple of instanced when the images come out darker than I thought they should have been, but just like Terry said, that happens with any printer.

  4. If you download and install the printer profiles from your local Costco — and turn off the automatic adjustments in your upload order — you can get stunning prints from Costco. $3 for a 12 x 18 print just can’t be beat.

  5. Interesting… I wonder how/if this impacts other print services? Right now, I’m printing through SmugMug/BayPhoto and I _LOVE_ the prints, but the prices are having me consider getting a wide format printer at home. I’m not big on large chain stores like Costco, as my experiences(shopping/parking/people/etc) at Costcos often leave me drained and unhappy. 🙁

    1. Just looked at Costco’s terms of service. Nice. They have obviously updated their online TOS and licensing language in response to complaints:

      VI. Copyright
      What You License to Costco Photo
      When you join our Service, you become a participant in an online community of people who enjoy taking and sharing photographs. In order for us to make your photos and Costco Photo Services available to you and anyone you authorize to see your images, we need the rights to make use of all content on the Services (in accordance with and subject to these Terms, of course). Accordingly, as a condition to your Membership, you hereby grant Costco Photo a perpetual, universal, nonexclusive right to copy, display, modify, transmit, make derivative works of and distribute any content transmitted or provided to the Services by you, solely for the purpose of providing the Services. In no event will Costco Photo print or display any content provided by you, other than in accordance with any activity initiated by you (e.g. photo sharing, printing, etc.). You remain the owner of all content that you submit to the Services and as a condition to Membership, you represent and warrant to Costco Photo that you are the owner of the copyright to content you submit to the Services or that you have written permission from the copyright owner to submit such content.


  6. Hmmm…I have a new client. Wonder if I should try this for them? Not sure of quality for client but client may want “cheap”. Could work.
    Looks great on your walls Terry.

  7. Many years ago, I shot a wedding. I had the processing & proofs done at a pro lab. I gave the happy couple the film and suggested where they should go for enlargements. They gathered up orders from their extended family and took it, all at once to Costco. Their entire order had a green case to it. More recently, I began to see people in photo forums singing the praises of Costco so when I 1st was testing labs for canvas wraps, I sent the same image to Costco and one or two other labs. The color on the one from Costco off but WORSE, they recomposed it. I know this for two reasons, #1: I took the picture #2: I had digitally signed the image (I know, I stopped doing that and sign by hand now) but MY SIGNATURE WRAPPED AROUND THE SIDE OF THE FRAME! As an earlier comment noted, they are hit or miss. If something seems too good to be true, watch out! My local store took it back & reimbursed me for the cost.

  8. I’ve been using Costco for 3-4 years. Canvass wraps are done centrally and are all about the same. However, prints done at local Costcos vary significantly. In the Detroit area we have one in particular that really excels. Several pro photographers use that location at Haggerty south of Eight Mile. They have top equipment, a knowledgeable staff and calibrate their machines frequently. The result is consistent quality. If you have a concern, they respond quickly. They’ve even reprinted while I wait… no charge. If a wrap is not up to par, they refund or reorder immediately.

    If you need support, they are helpful… give them a call 1-866-459-9284

  9. Costco is a great company, but like many nationwide businesses it can have some weak spots. I was surfing the internet and I found this site where people can vent about poor customer service or products they received… it can get really funny. I would recommend you to check it out here.

  10. Just in time for my new project. Good quality at a cheaper price, who could ask for more? Never mind the weak spots of the company for now,as long as it does not affect the overall quality…maybe its worth a try.

  11. One of the things that one must look out for – especially if you’re a pro selling your canvas to your customers, is if the canvas printed is OBA (Optical Brightening Agent) FREE.

    We tell our customers that the canvas is archival, lightfast, and will last about 75 years. If the canvas is NOT OBA free, the whites will crack and yellow within 5-7 years. The OBAs degrade the canvas at the molecular level. It’s put into the receptor layer of the canvas to give a poor-quality canvas a brighter white point.

    Now – how do you tell if your canvas has OBAs?? Take it into the closet or the bathroom with a little black light – easily found at hobby stores. If the whites light up like your t-shirt on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, it’s got OBAs.

    You can read more on OBAs here:

    Thanks for listening!

  12. Happy Cyber Monday!! Great job, was so amazing. Photos on Canvas is very special event today especially the Christmas session is near. This is the time for being kind, to forgive and to love. We can do all this in a simply way by giving a unique and wonderful photos on canvas to your love ones. This good for decoration display in your home/room and best for memorable gift photos.

    Ruby Digital Photos on Canvas

  13. Lately, my friend gave me a canvas, as a birthday gift and from that day onwards, I really love having more canvases in my house. The canvas is really beautiful, and she said that a trusted and reliable company, that provides great quality in canvas printing is all she ever need.

  14. I can see there hasn’t been a post in a while. I’m about to get a 24×36 Canvas print from Costco Canada. My current image is 2432×3648. Would it be better to upsample to the 3600×5400 before upload?

    (I haven’t decided between black border or edge wrap)

    I also see an edge wrap requires 27×39 print. Same applies should I upload a 4050×5850 image @ 150dpi? Which is a different aspect ratio. Not sure how it wraps to 24×36 though?

    I’m using Lightroom 5 – Export function to JPG, 100%. They’ve told me to use sRGB instead of Adobe RGB. But they can’t answer my upsample question!

    Source is a RAW generated by a Canon s95. I realize it’s only 10MP but I’ve read Canvas is quite forgiving.

  15. I’ve had nothing but good experiences with Canvas Prints. I have three hanging in my office and a couple more at home and I suggest to purchase it from online I am impressed with the quality of their products as well as the pricing if you hold out for one of their frequent special deals.

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